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'Dreams Are Made of This' by Vikenti Komitski & Aaron Roth at ZERUI, London

The exhibition serves as a powerful reminder that our perception of reality is shaped by technology, while simultaneously acknowledging that these very technologies can distract us from certain aspects of the world around us. By deconstructing the mechanisms that create this bias, we can transcend the dichotomy between the natural and the technological. 

Vikenti Komitski’s bodies of work showcased in this exhibition in- volve the skillful incorporation of found objects, including remnants of computer hard drives and mechanical components. These ele- ments are combined with raw materials commonly used in electronic device production, such as pyrite, cobalt, and other raw metals and minerals. The resulting pieces evoke a sense of being both half-or- ganic and half-alien technology, underscoring the interdependence of the digital realm on a physical structure comprised of earth-mined metals and minerals. 

Aaron Roth’s artistic practice delves deep into the exploration of found images and objects associated with Bulgarian Pop folk (Chal- ga), contemporary history, and socio-political issues. His work serves as a thought-provoking investigation into the intricate connections between these cultural artifacts and the relentless pursuit of capital accumulation, which finds expression in the realm of luxury goods entangled with resource extraction and political power. Beneath the deceptive allure of counterfeit opulence lies a concealed residue woven into these digital images, unveiling the enduring reper- cussions of extractive practices. The artwork unveils a digital sludge, a tangible consequence and byproduct of such practices. An evocative example is portrayed through a painting depicting Kadyrov’s Prada monolith combat boots, symbolizing the sacrifices made by soldiers. The truth behind this imagery is only revealed upon closer inspec- tion, as if zooming in provides access to a hidden reality. Similarly, the choice of air conditioning units sourced from a land cruiser, adorned with leather upholstery reminiscent of casinos, stands as a symbol of technological advancements cleverly utilized as tools for the extraction of wealth. 

Through this new body of work, both artists communicate the potential falsehoods associated with progress. Aaron Roth employs the contextual motif of automobiles, promising luxury and comfort through the latest technologies. In stark contrast, Vikenti Komitski utilizes the image of discarded electronic devices from a defunct EU project, destined for destruction, to extract their precious metals. These objects, despite their attempts to convey sophistication, ulti- mately reveal their obsolescence while remaining undeniably real. 

3.6.23 — 14.7.23

ZERUI, London

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